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winter whiteout. blizzard conditions head north as they dig out from the first snowfall in years. could be a staggering up to two feet of snow expected in some parts in the northeast. travel nightmare. thousands expected to head home for the christmas holiday are now stranded. we'll get a check on the latest in a live report. good morning, everyone. i'm alex witt. welcome to msnbc sunday on this christmas 2010 for you. developing right now, the monster snowstorm barrelling up the east coast after blasting the south on christmas day. right now blizzard warnings expected for new york and the weekend. new york could get more than a foot of snow, boston up to 20 inches with winds gusting over 14 miles an hour. the winter storm blanketed the south saturday.
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it snowed on christmas in atlanta for the first time since 1882. let's get more now as we go to meteorologist michelle grossman from our philadelphia affiliate wcau. good morning. >> good morning, alex. yesterday some had a white christmas. today many will have a white day after christmas. we'll look at blizzard conditions later this afternoon. winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour, even up to 60 miles per hour in some spots. let's take a look at the maps. storm system right now moving up the coast. it will continue to move up the coast as we continue throughout the day. we're going to see an area of low pressure. it's going to strengthen and bring blizzard conditions in the northeast. here's a look at winter radar on a national map. you can see the white, that is the snow. the green is rain. in between, we're seeing a mixed precipitation. that would be the ice. a closer look is the pressure along the virginia coast and carolinas. that will continue to move to the north. it will continue to strengthen, and it will bring heavy snow later on this afternoon. here's a look at the advisories. they're extensive. we're seeing the hot pink there.
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that's a blizzard warning. extend from maine all the way down through parts of central new jersey. we also have winter storm warnings in the red orange color. and advisories all the way down to parts of the southeast. it's an extensive storm. we're seeing lots of cold air in place, enough to generate some snow. 29 degrees in new york. 29 in raleigh. only 26 in atlanta. they're not going very far from there. you add wind on top of that. it feels a whole lot colder. it feels like 16 in new york city. feels like 18 in boston. that will be the story throughout the day. winds gusting to 60 miles an hour later this afternoon. we're going to see drifting snow for many travelers. we're going to talk more about that. and also what we can expect after the storm. alex? >> thanks, michelle. let's get more from the middle of the storm. richard devain from wcnc live for us in concord, north carolina. we can see the flakes. it's still coming down. good morning. what's it like right now? >> >> reporter: it is pretty much the same. we've got snow coming down, and the concern for all these
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drivers out here is this. we can show you some of the drivers are making their way out. of course, you see a lot of those bobcats. and the concern for the drivers is this. it starts out at snow, and then under snow, as you can see my foot, there is ice. this water is good. but unfortunately, later today, there are fears it may freeze over. the sheriff's office has told us so far they've had dozens of reports of cars that have slid off the highways and roadways. here in cabreras county, so far no serious injuries, but just a sign as the day progresses, they expect more and more accidents. behind me, you can see the roads. this road actually leads to one of the more popular malls in all of north carolina, the concord mills mall. we've seen salt and plow trucks trying to take some of the snow off the road to make the roads a little bit safer for some of the motorists. we've spoken to another motorist who told us they don't plan on coming out today. for those who have come out, they say, they're taking it slow. but from the number of accidents, some of them need to take it a little bit slower.
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alex, back to you. >> a little bit slower. i'm just curious. remember the last live shot. it was kind of quiet. have you been seeing the traffic pick up? >> oh, absolutely. absolutely. we've been seeing traffic throughout the morning get heavier and heavier. within the last 15 minutes, we saw -- normally we've seen a plow truck once every 15 minutes. we saw about three plow trucks in a ten-minute span as a new crew is coming on to try to get to these roads. we can tell you, it is picking up out here. >> about a quarter mile away to that mall. that's probably where a lot of people are going. thanks so much. winter weather is also putting a damper on the holiday travel. whether it's planes, trains, or automobiles, the ice and snow are making it hard for some to return home from christmas vacation. nbc's peter alexander made it safely to the studio, keeping an eye on all the cancellations and delays for us. >> good morning, alex. we've been everywhere. we've been at laguardia and downtown new york. delta airlines is work to go get the backlog of passengers on their way today african selling
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about 300 flights out of what is their hub in atlanta yesterday. atlanta's hartsfield-jackson airport is the busiest airport in the world. the storm that brought the snow to atlanta for the first time since 1882 on a christmas day, now heading east. many people say that's exactly why these airlines are following in delta's footsteps. here's what the situation looks like as we speak. continental airlines has already cancelled 250 flights departing from newark airport in it new jersey. united, air tran, and southwest, they have all announced dozens of cancellations across the east coast. most of them are out of washington, dulles, baltimore, and newark. you really want to check ahead if you're planning to travel today. obviously, there are going to be a lot more delays and cancellations. this ripple effect issi being ft at chicago's o'hare airport, where 55 flights are already cancelled for today. take a listen. >> the flight shouldn't have been cancelled because there's no snow, and florida is fine. >> it happens with the weather.
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we can't do anything about it. >> reporter: that was the frustration for a lot of people, the preemptive cancellations before the snow even arrived. the good news is most carriers will be waiving fees for one-time changes in the affected areas specifically. they're asking passengers to hop online and make those changes on their websites. we've tried calling some of the airlines, and you can sit on hold for a long time this morning. the air transport association is expecting more than 44 million people on u.s. flights between december 16 and january 5. that means we've got a ways to go here. overall, more than 92 million people plan to travel more than 50 miles from home by january 2nd. more than 90% of them are driving. more than 80 million total americans are driving home from their holiday destination. meanwhile, many southern states already feeling the brunt of this snowstorm. they're reporting dozens of car accidents because of slick road conditions. states like maryland, virginia, north carolina, you saw just moments ago. they have already declared states of emergency.
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before that storm does move out, the east coast is expecting as much as 15 inches of snow, as we've noted, boston, alex, could get closer to 20. >> oh, boy. i'll tell you, wreaking havoc. thank you, peter, for keeping an eye on all of it for us. let's head out west. southern california slammed by a new storm last night after nearly a week of record-setting rain, snow, and mudslides. weather advisory for several counties of los angeles. dozens of communities still in watch mode after floods destroyed homes and businesses. one river merged right into a house in highland. >> i didn't want to look inside. >> we have lost so much. my kids' graduation pictures, their diplomas. this is our house, and now we have none of it. >> painful, right? those rains are expected to clear up in most areas today. you can always check weather.com for the latest updates on this storm. the forecast across the country where you are.
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we have breaking news to share this morning. eight american tourists are dead, 21 injured after a tourist bus crash in egypt. the accident happened in the southern egyptian town of aswan. the bus slammed right into a truck that was parked on the side of the road. an official at the tour company said the bus that crashed was one of three buses all traveling together carrying 116 american tourists in total. the u.s. embassy says they're not releasing any of the names involved in this terrible crash. crews working frantically on the detroit river to free a barge stuck in the mud. the coast guard extended efforts because none of the crew members were available on christmas day. workers are using tug boats to dislodge the coal-carrying freighter. and a sad end to one christmas celebration in maryland. a family's home was destroyed when a christmas tree caught fire. they were using candles as o ornamen ornaments. four people escaped the flames.
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no one was hurt. president obama and the first lady visited a marine corps base in hawaii on christmas day. they greelted hundreds of service members and their families, including some very excited kids. the president also had a message for the troops overseas. >> america's brave servicemen and women represent a small fraction of our population. the families who await their safe return carry far more than their share of the burden. let's all remind them this holiday season that america will be there for them, just as they've been here for us. >> even though the president is relaxing in hawaii, there's also some business in the mix. we'll tell you about potential staff shake-ups at the white house in a few minutes. 'tis the season to take it back. retailers bracing for crowds of customers wanting to return holiday gifts. do be prepared. return policies a bit more complicated than ever at many stores this year. thankfully, nbc's kerry sanders is on it for us. he's live at the mall in
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aventura, florida. another good day to you. it's crowded there. what's up with these return policies, kerry? it's kind of a mess? >> reporter: we're watching a return right now. she's just come in, and she's returning -- was this for you or a gift for somebody else? >> it was for me. >> reporter: does the person who gave it to you know you're returning it? >> no. >> reporter: okay. we won't tell anybody. shh. anyway, that's what's going on. it depends on the store. some stores make it very difficult. some make it easy. it's all a little bit of the consumer needs to know the rules walking in. a receipt is very important. lee silverstein is with the frontline performance group, retail experts. let's talk about people returning today. >> okay. >> reporter: what is the one thing a customer needs to know before they even head out to the mall? >> they should be familiar with the store's return policies. >> reporter: how do they find out? you pick the phone up, and it just rings and rings? >> usually it's posted on the back of the receipt or the bottom of the receipt.
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or you can go to the store's website to find out. this way you get there and you're not disappointed. >> reporter: you have electronics and you want to return them. is there any sort of tick tok here? >> there certainly could be a tick tok on your clock. the policy for many retailers is a shorter period of time. sometimes only 15 days. if you go past that, you won't get your return, and you won't get the money back you're looking for. >> reporter: lee, thank you very much. interesting, alex, despite 10%, or almost 10% employment across the country, christmas sales have been remarkable. the after christmas sales at 60%, 70%, are -- you can see the crowds behind me. those aren't returns. those are purchases as well. alex, it looks like the national retail federation says this is going to have been a record christmas season, which is remarkable when you consider the economy. >> that is saying something. you're absolutely right. it was nice of you not to give up whom that lady received the gift from. she just got busted on camera. at least she didn't say that was from uncle so and so. kerry sanders, thanks so much.
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a lot more coming up on the big snowstorm due to hit the northeast. already brought snow to the south. look at d.c., where we're starting to see the first of the flakes in washington. we'll keep a close eye on things up and down the eastern seaboard for you. plus how to get more cash back in your taxes. some ideas next on "msnbc sunday." great check-up! i'll see you next time. ♪ ok. [ dr. ashley ] crest pro-health complete with fluoride. it helps you get a better dental check-up. in fact, it provides all these benefits. crest rinse makes the difference. new crest pro-health complete rinse.
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at 17 past the hour, giving you a look at the maps. we are falling all of this. it's working up the eastern seaboard. this monster snowstorm. expected snowfall totals, 18 inches in albany, over a foot in
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hartford, new york, up to a foot in boston. it's going to be absolutely incredible. we're keeping a very close eye. snowflakes just beginning to fall in d.c. give you a look at the white house. it is definitely making its way north. let's get to the new terror arrests in the netherlands right now. dutch authorities brought 12 so ma somali men into custody on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack. they have yet to find any explosives. the arrest a year after abdul farouq mutallab tried to blow up that plane. evan joins us from someplace that looks warm and wonderful, davie, florida. let's talk about the amsterdam situation. the christmas day bomber from
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last year originated in the netherlands. how much involvement do american counterterrorism forces have in other countries, there in the netherlands? how closely do they monitor terror warnings there and how much do they rely on their security and putting it all together? >> reporter: closely. because europe is seen as a bridge between the united states and other countries in the middle east, north africa and elsewhere. and not just for transit, also for immigration. in the case of the latest arrests in the netherlands -- excuse me. in holland. you had 12 individuals of somali origin. it's not clear exactly what target they were looking at, but it is clear thea had some interest in carrying out some sort of operation or attack. they haven't found any weapons yet, but it's worrying because we're seeing an increasing number of threats from somali exiles, including right here in the united states, places like minnesota, san diego, and elsewhere. there's no doubt what's happening now in europe has direct implications for the united states for national security right here. >> evan, we're talking lately
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about things like coffee cups, thermoses being added to the list of possible terrorist weapons. what is that about? >> the issue now is not just thermoses or coffee cups that have liquid in them. it's even just thermoses and coffee cups that might be empty. the thought is that insulated cups, thermoses might somehow serve as receptacles for explosives, for explosive materials that can then be constructed on board an aircraft in a lavatory or what not. it's not clear where the intelligence is coming from, and it doesn't look like an imminent threat, but it is one of those items being added to the list of banned or prohibited or limited items that airline security is definitely going to take an extra look at. i think the best advice is, if you don't need to bring a thermos with you, empty or full, don't bring it. >> as people listen to that part of our discussion here, some folks are going to say, okay, that's great. you've got the tsa and other security officials and terrorism analysts getting ahead of the
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game, as they need to do, and others are going to say, look at what a great idea you have just given to potential terrorists. how do you strike that fine line and walk it so carefully? >> it's difficult, but i think the bottom line is that people, our adversaries are quite inventive when it comes to operations. we just saw that with the cargo bomb plot a few weeks ago. if we're really worried about something, we should be worried about the prospect a similar plot is going to take place in another country. we've prohibited the sending of packages from yemen to the united states. but al qaeda and the arabian peninsula has said, that's fine, we'll send it from another country next time. we need to look at a myriad of different threats. we're not necessarily giving them ideas. we're more reacting to the ideas that we see them coming up with. >> evan kohlman, many thanks. we also appreciate the background picture because it looks like where you are. >> happy holidays. thank you very much.
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we'll tell you about big changes in the works for the west wing. how important is it for the president to bring in fresh faces right about now? the royal lovebirds spend their christmas holiday apart. this separation won't last for too long. [ male announcer ] this is steven, a busy man. his day starts with his arthritis pain.
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25 past. we're trying to keep you up to date on what to expect in terms of snow up and down the eastern seaboard. it's a pretty diverse set of numbers all the way up to 20 inches potentially in new york. 15 inches in boston. 21 in albany. we're seeing right now only about three inches in washington, d.c. we'll see if that changes at all. take a look at these numbers and prepare everyone to hunker down.
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meantime, we have some new insight this morning on what is driving president obama as we head into the new year. on "meet the press," white house senior adviser valerie jarrett weighed in on the president's biggest regret. >> what he missed sorely was the engagement with the american people. he said it right before he left on vacation. he said, when i get back, i really want to figure out a way where i can spend more time outside of washington listening and learning and engaging with the american people. it's really what gives him his energy and his strength. so we're determined in the new year to make sure that his schedule reflects that priority. >> a.b., associate editor and columnist for "the hill." good morning. >> good morning. >> what do you see as the president being able to hit the road and get out of washington more, as valerie jarrett suggested? >> i think that will be very important. i suspected that would be his plan because he has been accused, if you read the polls
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and look at the results of the election in november, of kind of giving into the bubble and living an isolated life in the white house, isolated from public opinion, not following public opinion when it came to reaction to the stimulus, remember? which was unpopular before it was even signed into law. again, of course, the huge fight over health care, that he was really -- the criticism was he's not paying attention to public opini opinion, and he takes the long view and thinks it's all what should be done and will be right over time and looked at well upon by history. that's not what the public was asking for. sick of bailouts, sick of the growth in reach of government, sick of the way it's being governed. as soon as he starts to listen, the better off he'll be. >> david alex rod is leaving, perhaps defense secretary robert gates as well. he's had a tenure longer, preceded this administration.
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how important is it for the president to bring in fresh faces with the new republican majority in the house? or does that weigh into it? >> it's interesting. i don't think he's making any calculations with regard to new staff in regards to the republican majority. i think he's trying to position himself for re-election and wants to be sure he's getting fresh perspective from outside of the bubble. i mentioned before he's getting in touch with public opinion, he's going to try to govern in the center. he wants to work with republicans. it might be interesting if he does bring in republicans to his administration. that will help him with the republican majority in the house and the effective republican majority over there on the senate where they're in the minority but they really do have effective control of the floor most days. i do think, though, that no matter who he brings in, he wants to show the public that he is listening to their concerns, that he wants to have a better relationship with business, convince them to do more hiring, to spur more growth, to move the economy along, and to really try to find ways that his
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administration can govern, again, without the congress. now that he doesn't have the votes, i think he's looking for people to come in and help him do things by executive order for find ways that the white house can lead without the congress. >> given what you say how the president is looking to re-election, no surprise he's going to bring in david plouffe reportedly, given what he did in 2008. >> david plouffe is the master of the map. he's a real genius in what was a very, very successful campaign. he was able to take someone like barack obama, who was relatively inexperienced and literally go block by block and community by community, county by county, district by district and find ways to win in the primary and the general. president obama's facing a different map this time. david plouffe knows where in this country right now he is unpopular in battlegrounds, what he has to do to turn that around. they're studying those numbers. they're studying the electorate in different places and how
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those electorates are changing, which is all going to be revealed by these new census results. i think this is an interesting move. he's bringing someone who knows him really well and can help him with his re-election, but he's going to bring him into the bubble to help him message day to day and probably with the trips outside of the belt way to talk with the voters directly. >> a.b. stouter, thank you for your insights. playboy founder hugh hefner is willing to give marriage another go of. he got engaged again. he's given a ring to girlfriend and playmate crystal harris. hefner is 84 years old. his bride to be is 23. this would be hefner's third marriage. i'm not even going to comment. not a word. ready sensei. hey tough guy, that cold needs alka seltzer plus! it has the cold-fighting power of an effervescent packed in a liquid-gel for all over relief! hiyah! dude!
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right now we're looking at the tarmac at jfk airport where the snow has begun. the snowflakes are falling, which is certainly going to create havoc. flights get cancelled up and down the eastern seaboard. we're going to keep a very close eye on all of that for you. we know so far snow emergencies have been declared in north carolina, virginia, and maryland. it's all because of this powerful winter storm that is quickly blanketing the east coast. it could drop over half a foot on washington, d.c., by tonight. i believe that's raleigh, north carolina. we've been looking at that picture throughout this morning. it has been a mess down there. let's get more on all this from meteorologist michelle grossman, who joins us from philadelphia affiliate wvcu. though you're safely in studio. >> good morning. cold outside, though. the minute you step out, you're going to see the cold air. snow falling in parts of the area here. we got a report from brooklyn. they've been seeing snowflakes. the white is where the snow is. the pink is a little mixed preaccept tags. winter warning advisories that extend all the way from maine down through the southeast,
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parts of northern georgia. we do have a blizzard warning that includes new york city and parts of new england. raleigh is in a winter storm warning. you have to be careful if you're traveling later on this afternoon. expected snowfalls anywhere from three to six inches in washington. close to two feet in new york city. 16 inches in hartford and also in boston. temperatures are cold. cold enough to snow certainly. 26 degrees in new york city. it is 30 in washington, d.c. 28 in boston. the bigger story, the temperatures, yeah, they're cold. you factor in the winds. they're going to be gusty this afternoon. windchills in the 20s. winds gusting over 45 miles at some point. there's a look at your wind gusts at 17 miles per hour in raleigh. 35 miles per hour in atlanta. so you put the air temperature and the winds, sustained winds together. it gives you windchill. we're going to be blustery this afternoon. could see winds gusting close to 60 miles per hour at times. then we're going to see blowing and drifting snow throughout the night into your morning commute. i just had a friend flying out of the philly airport.
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got the last plane out of boston. she's happy about that. we're seeing cancellations now. only going to get worse throughout the afternoon. alex? >> let's go right now because philadelphia is declaring a snow emergency effective 2:00 p.m. eastern, and the mayor is urging everyone to stay off the roads if you can. let's go to the weather channel's jim cantore, live for us in philadelphia. they always put you in the tough spots. how is it for you there? >> reporter: hey, alex, it's going to be wild and for many reasons. obviously, with the intensity of the snow coming in probably 3:00 to midnight. that's when we'll get the worst of the weather. they're prepping for it. pen dot is ready on the roads. what's going to catch people off guard is they're going to say, oh, it's snowing lightly. let's get out of here. then, boom, one to two feet of snow. that's what we expect during the eagles-vikings game here at the lake. that is going to be tremendous. snow that could cause whiteout conditions, winds 25 to 30 miles per hour.
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people getting to the game and especially coming from the game certainly could face many, many problems. that's why we have a snow emergency in effect here. have to keep the snow emergency lanes open starting at 2:00 today. even though it may not be snowing hard, they are definitely preparing for it. as of noon, delta and southwest say no more flights in or out of philadelphia as of noontime today. that's going to go along with the other plethora of cancellation that's have occurred for other airlines, starting as early as yesterday morning, believe it or not, especially from atlanta, where delta is home to. >> jim cantore, we'll keep an eye on you. jim's talking about the cancellations, as has michelle. it is really wreaking havoc up and down the east coast. the biggest airports impacted thus far ahead of philly. it's shutting down at noon. boston, newark, new york city, baltimore, washington, d.c. what that means is all those cancellations had some spending christmas at the airport.
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>> i miss christmas with my family. that was sad for us. >> i just got an e-mail that my flight tomorrow would have been cancelled. so i'm getting out hopefully just in time. >> most carriers are waiving the fees for one-time changes. they're urging passengers to make all those changes, if you can, through the websites. so a check right now on the situation in new york. we go to the weather channel's eric fisher, who's following the situation for us at laguardia airport. eric, good morning. >> reporter: alex, the situation this morning, the proverbial calm before the storm. we expect that to not last at all. by the time we get to midday in the afternoon, we'll see some big changes. behind me, you can see that it's pretty quiet. most of the flights have gone out on time. there have been a couple of cancellations so far during the morning. as we head towards midday and the afternoon, the snow is really going to set in. we've seen a couple of flurries so far this morning. it should really pick up right around noontime, and this afternoon we'll see a rapid
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deteriorati deterioration. with that, more cancellations. we've seen hundreds of them throughout the northeast corridor. that's the preemptive strike. as the weather goes downhill, we'll see more cancellations, more delays, and some people spending the night at laguardia, jfk, newark, and many of the northeast airports as they try to get home through the holiday weekend. you hate to have a storm with this kind of timing. although there's never a good time to see a massive snowstorm working its way up the east coast. there's always going to be effecteds. but we do expect a rough day for travel. new york city area, heavy snow, winds gusting up to 30 miles an hour, and quarter mile visibility. people should keep in mind, even if you're not traveling, power outages going to be a problem tonight. probably find a way to try to stay warm, maybe cut a little more wood for the fireplace before you go to bed. that's it from new york city. weather channel's eric fisher, back to you. just back across the way there to jfk, where you can see the thickening of the clouds, and the snow is starting to fall. that is going to create big problems, everyone. so we're going to keep a close
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eye on things as we give you the beginning of the onslaught there at jfk airport out in queens, new york. we want to see how the weather is shaping up where you are. do send us your snowiest pictures to firstperson@msnbc.com. or upload them to firstperson.msnbc.com. or world view begins in new zealand with a 4.9 magnitude earthquake. it knocked bricks off buildings in the city of christchurch. fortunately, no one was injured. in thailand, a memorial yelled marking the sixth anniversary of the tsunami. people hung wreaths at a wall of remembrance, and prayers were read for those who died. in australia, daring rescue saturday night in queens. a man trying to cross a creek with his friend wound up being swept off his feet by fast-moving flood waters. the man held on to a tree while his friend scrambled to the river bank and got help.
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>> he was extremely lucky. he was in a precarious place. he was very cold, shivering. the tree he was on was wet. so it was quite slippery. >> the man was pulled to safety. the flash floods and heavy rains were triggered by a tropical cyclone that hit the country this weekend. on christmas, the queen gathered with several members of the royal family, including prince charles, his wife camilla, and prince harry. this for their traditional christmas church service. the royal party did not seem quite complete. noticeably absent was the young couple of the moment, prince william and his fiancee kate middleton. joining me from london is robert jobson, editor for news of the world. happy day after christmas. good boxing day, i should say. >> thank you, alex. >> we didn't see the newly engaged couple. where were they? >> well, on christmas eve they were at high grow, prince charles' country residence. then for the final time, kate spent christmas with her family
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in buckleberry in berkshire, and prince william went to work. he works as a helicopter pilot in north wales, where he's on duty. he's still a single guy, and the raf likes to give the family people their time off to be with the children. so he volunteered to work on christmas day. very noble. >> indeed, that certainly will change very soon, no doubt. robert, with regard to kate in particular, the last christmas with her family. because what? once you become a royal, i mean, you have a very, i guess, detailed tradition that you have to adhere to. >> for her, it is. it's going to be christmas with the in-laws full stop. she'll be back in norfolk in the east of england, the queen's country estate, and they spend christmas there for as long as i can remember. that's where they spend christmas. it's a tradition. she has to -- will have to spend it with the inlaws. that's what it's going to be from now on. >> i'm curious about the queen's official christmas message, that
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she did not mention the royal engagement, robert. was that something that surprised you at all? >> it was, alex. i would have thought the most natural thing -- she's got not only prince william getting married to kate middleton, and her granddaughter zara phillips marrying the rugby player mike tindell. i thought it would be something personal. a happy year for 2011, two marriages. it's also going to be prince philip's 90th birthday. i thought it was a bit of a dull message actually with respect to the queen, talking about the importance of sport. that's a very important message, but i just think it could have been a little bit more personal, alex. >> have you heard any more details about either wedding. we talk about zara phillips and her fiance. zara has been perceived throughout the years as unconventional. she's not going to have anything along the lines of william and kate's wedding? >> i don't think it will be along the lines, but it will still be a major event over
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here. it won't be on the global scale like the william and kate wedding, which will be phenomenal. this wedding, i've heard, is only at the end of may. it's only a few weeks after william and kate's wedding, which will be quite interesting. it will probably be at windsor castle at st. george's chapel, where most of the recent royal weddings have taken place. it won't be westminster abbey like william and kate. it will be a big family event. she's a real favorite with the queen. not only that, it's the marriage of two world champions, him a rugby player, and her an equestrian rider. i do think that's going to be an interesting time. there will be a lot of comparisons between the two weddings. >> we'll expect you to continue making them for us. robert jobson, royal editor for news of the world. thank you so much. the mysterious death of an aspiring model at the home of a former beer executive. what investigators are learning in this case. also, what you can do in the last week of the year to save on your taxes next year. we'll talk about it on "msnbc sunday." this lighting is awful.
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we've got the proof now. if you look closely, you'll see snowflakes are flying at the 30 rock christmas tree right outside where we're broadcasting. we're expecting it. it has made its way. it's the beginning of an onslaught, the christmas weekend blizzard, it's being called. also an update on roads in just a moment. right now as we near the end of 2010, it's time to think about taxes again and ways to save on uncle sam's bill. let's face it, we could all use a bit more money in our pockets. msnbc financial analyst vera gibbons is here to show us just how we can do that. good morning to you, vera. >> good morning, alex. >> first we hear about the cash you get for energy saving things on your house. >> different energy saving moves you can make on your house, and you save in the process. install insulation, energy
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efficient windows, doors, whatever the case may be. and you may be eligible for a federal tax credit up to $1,500. if you have a $2,000 tax liability and a $1,500 credit, your liability is reduced to just $500. that's something you want to do next week because this is a credit going away. one of the other ones extended. child tax credit, teacher credit, college credit, this one's gone. >> what if you have money left in your flexible spending account? do you have to use that the next six days? >> some of the companies do have the deadline the end of this month. other companies have a mid-march deadline. regardle regardless, if you have money in these accounts, you should start spending the money. any money that's left in them is forfeited. and starting january 1st, these accounts become more restrictive. you need a prescription for over the counter medications. time to load up on those because it's going to be a whole lot less flexibility first of the year. >> we're going to get money saving tips next hour.
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vera gibbons, hold a few thoughts there. as we head outside, we'll get a look at the storm plowing through north carolina as it's making its way north. we've showed you the proof of that here at 30 rock. check this out. that's adam berg from the weather channel in raleigh, north carolina. i'm wondering how long it's going to take for the winter wonderland there to come here to midtown manhattan. >> reporter: you don't want this coming your way, i'm telling you. this is an appetizer compared to what you're going to get. for the folks in north carolina, this is definitely a big deal. we're talking six, seven inches of snow on the ground here, and we've even found ten-inch amounts in and around raleigh. the snow is definitely piling up. this is the first white christmas for parts of this region, you've got to go back about 60 years. the kids, you know, are loving it. because the temperatures are near freezing, this is really good snowball making weather. there's no such thing as good traveling weather when it comes to snow. a lot of the roads are snow covered. plows are out there. we have about 60 plows working
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raleigh all day long here. 90 plows have been working the charlotte area. north carolina department of transportation is all over it, but i tell you, there's a lot more coming your way. blizzard warnings through parts of the northeast here. as we go through time, snow falling sideways and maybe one to two feet of snow as we go new york and then farther north you start finding two foot amounts with the snow falling sideways. a lot of the experts are just recommending that folks should just hang in if they absolutely can. so have fun with this one, alex. >> oh, yeah. thanks so much for that. about as much fun as you're having there, adam berg. appreciate that. we're going to get a lot more on the hundreds of flights in the northeast corridor that are grounded as a result of this storm. plus buyer's remorse. shoppers making holiday returns. even if you love everything you got. retailers still want you back in their stores. what they're offering to lure you back. nnouncer ] is your current denture cleanser missing something? now you get a cleanser with scope freshness.
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54 past the hour. if you're heading to jfk, this is the sight that awaits you for those awaiting the arrival of friends, family, loved ones or planning to take off after your christmas holiday break. not such good news here. the snow is coming down, and we can start to see a little bit coating the tarmac on the tops of those planes. we'll stay on top of all this for you, all the travel headaches up and down the eastern seaboard. we'll stay on it for you on "msnbc sunday." meantime, surprising new details in the mysterious death of a aspiring model, former wife of a we're executive. adrienne martin suffered from a rare medical condition. she was found dead at the house of former anheuser busch ceo august busch. more details. what is this health condition, this heart condition that adrienne martin's ex-husband has been talking about? >> he spoke out and said she had
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some sort of heart condition, something that was rare, and something that she may not have necessarily sought medical attention for. we don't know at this point if that is what contributed to her death. right now what the medical examiner's office is doing is they're conducting toxicology reports. they usually take about four to six weeks to come back. >> okay. how about the circumstances surrounding her death and to what extent those toxicology reports are going to address those details? >> reporter: we don't know what area of the home her body was found in. there are some reports out there that indicate that 911 -- there was a pretty substantial amount of time that lapsed, about 40 minutes or so, that 911 was then called at that point that her body was discovered. we don't know who discovered her body, if fourth -- that's what he's known as -- her boyfriend was the one who found her or who exactly found her inside of the home. those are some of the details that investigators are looking through at this time. i did speak with the police department this morning. i was able to reach someone who answered the phone. the watch commander was not in.
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what she did tell me is there's no new updates to the case. >> how about fourth as, you call him? is he putting out information? >> reporter: his lawyer has spoken out and said they were, in fact, boyfriend and girlfriend. this, of course, is a tragic loss. this doesn't appear to be anything that was out of the ordinary, that was wrong with the investigation or with the death. >> and what do we know about adrienne martin's background? >> reporter: she aspiring model. look at her. beautiful, beautiful woman. >> beautiful girl, yeah. >> reporter: you have to think about it as well. this is during the holiday season. she did leave behind a child. her family. this is very sad. she was -- in one report she was looking to further advance her degree, and she also had indicated on one of her profiles she had worked at hooter's for a while. again, this is just a tragedy. we don't know of foul play. no one's been charged, nothing of that nature. this is high profile, especially for that area, and that's why it's on the map right now. this is something we will
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continue to monitor over the next few weeks. >> we know you will, michelle. thank you for that. a massive snowstorm is certainly on the move. we're going to have live reports up and down the east coast at the top of the hour on "msnbc sunday." ♪ sleep in heavenly peace ♪ sleep in heavenly peace ♪ sleep in heavenly peace ♪ sleep in heavenly peace
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